Focus: Communications - Site Visit -

The older people's charity Age Concern England wanted its online presence to be "a more friendly, inviting and engaging environment".

So, in partnership with the London-based agency Precedent Communications, the charity redesigned and restructured its website, finally relaunching it at the end of January.

Main pages

This site is absolutely packed, although you wouldn't know it from a solid but uninspired homepage that does the simple things well.

The clear sidebar of main options is efficiently complemented by direct links to more interesting or relevant pages such as information on care services and books on retiring to Spain.

The main sections, in particular 'how we can help', 'key issues' and 'policy and campaigns', act almost as microsites in themselves. No stone is left unturned, yet you never feel overwhelmed or confused - it's a very good job.

Special features

The 'living room' is perhaps the most impressive single section of any charity site this column has visited. Its newsroom contains the latest stories on issues that affect older people, whether it be the vetting of care workers or Harrison Ford's concerns about being too old to appear as Indiana Jones for a fourth time. Then there's Baby Boom Bistro, a chat forum for over-50s, and the features section, which offers horoscopes, a prize quiz and the latest advice from agony Aunt Gwen.

Age Concern England says:

"We're pleased with the style and execution of the new site. We've managed to present the positive messages about Age Concern in a site that feels easy to use, even for the novice web browser."

Site visit is by Tony Hodson

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